Wednesday Mashup: Nazmania

Wednesday Mashup: Nazmania

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Good (victorious) morning, MLHS.

I’m still pretty excited about that second Kadri goal last night (he called it maybe the nicest he’s ever scored). His ninth point in his last seven games, it was a culmination of a good 200-foot sequence by the centerman: Kadri won the defensive zone draw before the puck worked its way around to Kulemin on the far wall. Kadri supported puck, dug it out, handed it off to Gunnarsson, and took off up the ice. Gunnarsson laid in a soft chip into a retrievable area down the left side for Lupul, who found Kadri, as he did all game, driving into the slot. Kadri turned Hedman inside out and deked past Bishop in one fluid movement. Poetry.

Speaking of the defensive zone draw win, Nazem won seven of seven last night and went 63% on the dot overall. If we take it back to a month ago today – back to the December 29th win over Carolina – Nazem Kadri has won 109 draws and lost 98 in the last fifteen games (53%). In his previous 36 games this season, Kadri won 220 and lost 307 (42%). Has something clicked?

If we drop the Dallas game, the Leafs have been making a collection of the best goalies in the game look pretty ordinary of late during this hot stretch: 24 goals total in six games against Rask, Miller, Price, Smith, Varlamov, and Bishop. That’s the offensive capacity of this team, in my eyes. Seeing the top line fly and the Kadri, Kulemin and Lupul trio offer a secondary threat is bringing back memories of last season’s sixth-best offense (league wide). The third line had its moments last night as well, but a piece like Bolland coming back and slotting in on line three could give this team the depth we’ve been pining for. The defense will probably never stop scaring us until its youngins have time to mature and management makes some improvements, but at least there seems to be a little more stability back there – provided Gleason is OK – and of course Bernier’s been there to clean up mess after mess.

Onto the links…

My game review from last night’s win
And Carlyle’s post game presser can be found here.

Jonas Siegel’s post game report
Touches on JvR’s career highs among other things.

Who knew the Lupul, Kadri and Kulemin line was smart?
Stats speak for themselves.

Kadri shines as Leafs cool off surging Lightning
Be nice to see Kadri hit 20 this year after all the huffing and puffing. He’s a playmaker first, but 6 in 26 is doable.

Tim Gleason’s injury isn’t serious according to Carlyle
Looked like it at the time.

Morgan Rielly: after a Leaf win against Tampa, the ceiling looks awfully high…
From Michael at VLM.

Here’s a list of Jonathan Bernier’s games sorted by shots against
That’s a lot of wins with 35 or more saves.

Dave Poulin talks trade deadline, state of the team
Transcription of Poulin’s interview on the radio yesterday.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]